Garmin is one of the best-recognized brands in the tech industry and especially when it comes to GPS tracking. Garmin likewise is one of the most prolific producers of some of the best wearable golf GPS watch technology with a wide range of great devices that offer detailed information on tens of thousands of regulation golf courses located around the globe.
Odds are your favorite 18-hole golf course and just about all others in your general area are included in the Garmin library. If not, Garmin can make it happen with newly uploaded golf watch GPS review data and mapping resources.
The Garmin golf watches have become the industry standard for excellence combined with convenience. And they can be surprisingly affordable for all that they do. The following are six of our favorite Garmin golf GPS watches.
Garmin Golf Watches Review: Garmin Approach S12
A golf watch GPS review of the Garmin Approach S12 features show it offers excellent course data while enabling fast reading in bright sunlight. It features a round, monochromatic “transflective” memory-in-pixel display that is very readable in direct sunlight.
Like other great Garmin golf GPS watches, the Approach S12 tells you the yardage to the front, middle and back of the green. A two-dimensional rendering shows the approach angle and shape of the green, and a hazards view says where the sand traps, bunkers, hazards and layups are located.
- 42.000+ golf course maps included.
- Hazards data provided.
- Active green view and custom pin placement.
- Free course updates.
- No color views.
The rechargeable watch uses a lithium-ion battery that gives it up to 10 hours between charges. You should be able to get up to two full rounds of golf at your favorite regulation courses. A USB cable takes care of the charging and lets the watch update the course library of maps. A free Garmin Golf App download unlocks more advanced features, like full-color hole flyovers and detailed hazards views.
Garmin Golf Watches Review: Garmin Approach S40
A very simple on and off button powers the Approach S40 while a great touchscreen display lets you scroll rapidly through all that the Garmin GPS golf watch does. The round, high-definition watch has an about 1.2-inch diameter round viewing screen that gives you color views of the hole, hazards and the green.
A hazards view lets you get more accurate information on the distances to sand traps, bunkers, water hazards and layup on the golf course. It even can identify ball carry distances to that you know when to check up on your swing and not send the ball quite as far to reach your target.
- Touchscreen display enables fast scrolling.
- Custom pin placement.
- Up to 15 hours per charge while in golf mode.
- Step-tracking feature gives you fitness stats while playing golf.
- No hole flyover views.
The Garmin S40 gives you an active green view that continually adjusts your angle of approach so that you always see the front, middle and back distances from where you are standing while looking at the green. The touchscreen lets you manually place the pin so that you can have the best possible distance accuracy to the cup.
A great way to take a look at this watch, and compare it to the very similar Garmin S42 is our Garmin S40 vs S42 article. In which we check out the differences and help you decide which one is best for you.
An internal and rechargeable lithium-ion battery gives up to 15 hours of power so that you can play up to three full rounds of regulation golf. A USB cable lets you charge it quickly from any convenient charging port.
Garmin Golf Watches Review: Garmin Approach S60
The Garmin Approach S60 improves upon the prior S40 model with a larger viewing screen and a caddie-like shot-tracking feature. Garmin says the viewing screen is 18 percent bigger than the S40 at 1.3 inches in diameter with more than 41,000 full-color golf maps from your favorite regulation courses located around the globe.
The Approach S60, one of the best golf GPS watches, gives you overhead views of holes, hazards and the green while the shot-tracking feature records your actual average distances with each golf club in your virtual bag. When you have a shot that you want to make, you pick the target on the viewing screen, and the GPS unit will tell you how far it is to that spot from where you are standing. The virtual caddie feature will suggest the club for you to use based on your average distances with each one.
- Shot-tracker and plays-like indicators.
- Full color overhead course view.
- Great-looking watch.
- Free Garmin Golf App included.
- Legal for tournament play.
- Relatively short battery life between charges.
While you are at the tee, the golf mode shows the middle, front and back distances to the green. those distances are adjusted to the flag when you manually place the pin on correct location while using the green view. The active green feature continually rotates the green to match your angle of approach so that the distances always are the ones that you see while looking toward the flag.
A hole view gives you range arcs that show the distances to doglegs, layups, bunkers, sand traps and water hazards. A plays-like feature adjusts for elevation changes so that you know the practical distance to hit the ball. that will help you to make the target instead of falling well short of it or flying the target and possibly landing in a hazard.
An internal lithium-ion battery gives you up to 10 hours of use in GPS mode and while on the golf course. That is enough for two rounds of golf on a regulation course, but you need to play at a good pace to ensure you get all 36 holes.
Garmin Golf Watches Review: Garmin Approach S62
The Approach S62 is Garmin’s answer to minor issues with the outstanding S60 golf GPS watch, including giving owners a larger viewing screen. It also offers a swing-tempo mode that helps golfers to improve their swing on particular clubs.
The Garmin Approach S62 has the latest updated lists of more than 41,000 Garmin golf GPS maps for regulation courses located around the world. The moment you switch the Garmin S62, it syncs with the appropriate satellite and tells you the exact distances to various targets and structures. It also auto-advances through each hole, like the other great Garmin golf GPS units.
- More than 41,000 detailed golf course maps.
- Active green views with manual pin placement.
- Shot-tracking and virtual caddie.
- Swing tempo mode improves range practice.
- Takes a little time to adjust to all that it does.
The swing-tempo feature is especially useful while you are at the driving range. All of the most accurate GPS mapping and distance data in the world will not help if your swing is off. the swing-tempo mode helps you to better time your backswing and down swing for more fluid golf shots on the course. That will give you the best distance and accuracy while helping you to know which clubs are best to use for particular shots.
The Approach S62 also gives you an outstanding 30 hours of power while in GPS mode. That is more than double what any other GPS golf watch gives you. You can recharge it with a USB cable and always ensure you have plenty of juice for your practice sessions or playing two full rounds and reviewing your game afterward.
Garmin Golf Watches Review: Garmin Approach S42
The golf watch GPS review of features on the Garmin Approach S42 shows it does just about everything you might want it to do. You get a large, round, high-definition viewing screen on your wrist that lets you zoom in on hole hazards and the green with great full-color. The touchscreen lets you manually place the pin, and it even offers plays-like distances for layups and ball carry distances.
You can fly the hole for an overhead view and get a good idea of how all 18 holes are laid out among the more than 42,000 regulation GPS maps of golf courses that Garmin provides you. You can zoom in on structures and get a much better idea of where the safe areas are located and lower your score.
- Stainless steel bezel holds high-definition touchscreen.
- More than 42,000 regulation golf courses.
- Electronic scorecard and shot-tracking.
- Up to 15 hours per charge.
- Price will discourage some.
A shot-tracking feature tells you how far the ball flew and records the average distances that you shoot with each club. A digital scorecard automatically inputs the score after each swing. And it loads the next hole when you exit the green. You can review your game results afterward and learn more about how well you used each club.
When you want to improve your game with better practice, the shot-tracking data helps you to identify which club and swing combinations are giving you the most problems. Then you can focus on those to make your game better while at the driving range.
The rechargeable golf watch provides you with up to 15 hours of power while in GPS tracking mode. That should be good enough for three full rounds of regulation golf. A USB cable does the charging for you and enables free golf course map updates from Garmin.
Garmin Golf Watches Review: Garmin Approach G10
The Garmin Approach G10 is a much more simplified version of the great Garmin golf GPS watches and by far the most affordable of the bunch. Instead of wearing it like a watch, you can clip it onto your belt, hat or golf bag while playing your round of golf.
The black plastic golf GPS unit measures 2 inches tall by 1.5 inches wide and is nearly an inch thick with a clip on the back. Four input buttons are situated with two on either side and are very easy to understand and use. It does not have a touchscreen like other Garmin GPS golf watches and handheld devices.
The rectangular and monochromatic display is 1.3 inches diagonally and gives you the middle, front and back distances to the green from wherever you are standing while on the hole. It shows you a two-dimensional rendering of the green and auto-corrects the angle as you play the hole.
A hazards view tells you the distances to up to four water hazards, sand traps, or bunkers. That helps you to set up the best approach shot. There is no manual pin placement, but the two-dimensional green rendering adjusts to match your angle of approach.
- Simple and affordable GPS golf course tracking.
- More than 40,000 regulation golf courses located around the world.
- Electronic scorecard with stats tracking.
- Very affordable.
- No overhead view or hole flyovers.
- No touchscreen or manual pin placement.
While the G10 is very simplified, it includes a free Garmin Golf App download. With the app, you can turn your cellphone into a full-color version of the G10 with the additional features cited in the more expensive Garmin golf watches reviews.
The G10 is powered by a rechargeable lithium-polymer battery that gives it up to 15 hours per charge. That is good enough to three full rounds at your favorite regulation golf course. A USB cable handles charging duties and enables updates of golf maps when connected to a computer.
Why Should I Buy a Garmin Golf GPS Watch?
The Garmin GPS watch for golf reviews all affirm you get the same standardized and highly detailed GPS mapping features that Garmin provides in its excellent handheld units. But instead of carrying a bulky item in your pocket like the best laser rangefinder and interfering with your swing, you can wear it on your wrist and not even notice it is there until you need to review the distance data and hole layout.
The price range for the six Garmin golf watches range for incredibly affordable to fairly costly, which means just about anyone can find one to fit their budgetary needs. You can choose ones that give you more simplified course information and views that help you to choose the right clubs and swings a little faster. Or you could choose ones that have very detailed views and associated data that help you to avoid hazards and land the best shots.
Even the simplest of the bunch gives you the free Garmin Golf App download, which pretty much levels the playing field and standardizes all of the great Garmin features. It also gives you free golf course mapping updates so that you have the best data to lower your score.